Irish Craft Beer is up and coming!Ireland is a historic land and the island’s history is reflected in its beer.Arthur Guinness brewed his famous black liquidation in response to the English porters and stouts and Guinness is now one of the countries most endearing symbols.Irish reds were brewed in response to the English pale alesbut with a deeper amber color.Everyone knows Guinness’s family of beers includes Smithwicks and Harp and the othermajor brewer that exports to the US is Murphys (who also brew a stout and a red ale). There is now a craft beer movement in the Emerald Isle that is starting to gain notice here in the States because several of the breweries have made it across the pond.Porterhouse beers startedthe irish beer revival in 1996. Started in a small brew pub by Oliver Hughs,the pubs have expanded into 3 brewpubs in Ireland and a New York city location on the way. As far as the beer go the Porterhouse reputation was built on stouts and porters. They brew a terrific oyster stout which a friend of mine,who didn’t particularly like dark beers,has become a HUGE fan of! They also brew a nice red and several lagers which are available locally.Another Irish craft brewery whose beers have made the voyage stateside is Carlow Brewing from County Carlow.The brewery was founded by the O’hara family in the 1990′s and are branded O’Haras. The brewers take particular pride in using Irish grown barley and mixing it with speciality grains from Britian for their beers.These beers include aterrific Irish red with a nice smoked malt,hints of Sultana fruit and a nice hop bitterness on the tongue.Their stout is nicely bodied with a delicious chocolate note. The pale ale is brewed with American Amarillo and Cascade hops which give it a nice grapefruit bite reminiscent of some of the great American pales!
I know of plans for at least one more Irish craft due to arrive stateside soon! Its great to see the craft movement expanding globaly and especially into countries with great brewing histories!
It’s the time of year to think green and drink Irish beers,so why not try some of the new ones out there?